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Florida jury awards $26 million to war veteran injured in car wreck

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - An Iraqi war veteran who suffered permanent brain damage in a 2008 motor vehicle accident in Florida has won a $26 million jury verdict, his lawyer said on Thursday.

"He's got a huge hole in his right frontal and temporal lobes," said Alexander Clem of the law firm Morgan & Morgan in Orlando.

Dustin Brink, 31, hit his head on the asphalt pavement in Kissimmee, Florida, after his motorcycle was clipped by a car driven by Juan Pereles, said Clem. Pereles and his father, Juan de Los Santos, who owned the car, were named in a lawsuit filed in 2010.

Brink, who was not wearing a helmet, lost all brain functions such as the ability to plan, organize and sequence activities, and filter his thoughts, Clem said.

Clem said the jury, which delivered its verdict late on Wednesday, held Pereles and Brink each 50 percent responsible for the damages.

Pereles' attorney Michael LeRoy of the Fulmer, LeRoy, Albee, Baumann firm could not be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Barbara Liston; Editing by Kevin Gray)

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